After a two month hiatus, I’m back at it again. It’s time to check for wire taps, break out the sunflower seeds, piss off Assistant Directors of the F.B.I. and look under our sofas for Little Green Men.
The episode opens with Mulder giving a sombre voice over: “We wanted to believe… we wanted to call out…” He discusses the Voyager probes and the hopes behind what they represented. He then talks about dishes on Earth listening out for ETs, however: “I wanted to believe, but my tools had been taken away.” Mulder then details the closure of The X-Files and what it meant. In all, the episode’s opening is mysterious and yet fully reintroduces why Mulder is compelled to do what he does.
Sunflower seeds, a wiretap and a very bored Fox Mulder. Scully as a teacher at Quantico – their lives seemingly devoid of meaning since the closure of The X-Files. Mulder seems almost defeated, as if he’d given up completely on ever searching for the truth – or is now too scared to pursue it. The death of Deep Throat at the end of season one has deeply affected Mulder.
In fact, Mulder has come to the point that he’s not sure what to believe anymore. He’s even doubting whether his sister was abducted. The lack of physical evidence despite his time on the X-Files is making Mulder doubt everything. He’s only ever seen and he now feels that this isn’t enough.
But Mulder’s memories aren’t average and the past continues to haunt him. There’s a really well done scene showing the abduction of Samantha Mulder as Fox recalls it in a dream. The scene is cheesy – there’s some gangly little green man silhouetted in a doorway – but the reactions and emotions of the characters involved are believable.
One of Mulder’s supporters on Capitol Hill reignites his passion for all things extraterrestrial. Heading off to the middle of nowhere in Puerto Rico, to an observatory that’s just been closed, we can tell that Mulder is back on in fully spooky mode (it’s the only way to describe him when he’s got the scent of the weird). And while Mulder is in Puerto Rico, Scully is busy trying to reprise her role as his partner, looking out for him as the agency’s hire ups investigate him going AWOL. And we have a perfect case of why passwords need to be secure and why 90s scenes of guessing passwords should remain in the 90s: “TRUSTNO1”.
The way the episode takes us from Mulder being at his lowest ebb and Scully believing – due to the events at the end of season one – is a compelling watch. The evidence is once again staking up – which makes for The X-Files at its best. But what I really like about this episode is how Scully is determined to help Mulder, that she still feels that Mulder is worth believing in.
Despite the evidence that crops up in the episode, Mulder has another huge moment of doubt and self-doubt. “But what would I do if they really came?” Mulder asks himself while inside the observatory. The issue of trust is a huge concern for him and he acknowledges that it keeps holding him back and yet he sees a need to trust people to progress towards the truth. But what happened to Deep Throat is still haunting him, so Mulder isn’t quite sure what to do with himself.
Mulder spends a great deal of this episode talking into a voice recorder. However, despite the wide availability of film cameras at this point, the character doesn’t take a camera (still or otherwise) with him to Puerto Rico. I’ve always found this hard to handle, because of how much emphasis he puts on acquiring evidence earlier on in the episode.
I know it wouldn’t have been digital, but come on! Near the end of the episode, Scully proclaims, “We still have nothing.” Well, of course you don’t!
As ever, I welcome your comments.